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Spotlight on: The Autograph Best Original Music Award

As part of a new series, we take a closer look at some of the WhatsOnStage Awards categories, starting with the Autograph Best Original Music Award.

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Sponsored by Autograph, the WhatsOnStage award for Best Original Music was won by Marvin Hamlisch for Sweet Smell of Success in its first outing last year.

This year, five more contestants battle it out to take home what has already become one of the most anticipated results of the awards. Who will you vote for? We take a closer look at the shortlist to help you make your choice.

Remember to head over to the voting page to have your say.

1. LIFT - Craig Adams - at the Soho

LIFT is set at Covent Garden tube station on an ordinary morning, exploring the thoughts of eight people and "revealing their innermost secrets".

With music and lyrics by Craig Adams and a book by Ian Watson, the cast for the original run at Soho Theatre in February included Julie Atherton, Cynthia Erivo and Luke Kempner.

Click here to vote for LIFT.

2. Once - Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová - at the Phoenix

With a book by award-winning Irish playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh (Disco Pigs, Misterman, The Walworth Farce), Once is based on the 2007 motion picture written and directed by John Carney.

It features music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová who won an Oscar for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly".

Once also received WhatsOnStage Award nominations for Radisson Best Actor in a Musical (Declan Bennett), STAR Best Actress in a Musical ( Zrinka Cvitešić), Managed Networks Best Director (John Tiffany) and Best New Musical.

You can cast your votes for Once here.

3. The Color Purple - Brenda Russell, Allee Willis & Stephen Bray - at the Menier Chocolate Factory

2013 saw the Menier Chocolate Factory playing host to the European premiere The Color Purple.

The 1930s-set family chronicle, adapted from Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, centres on black teenager Celie as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life in racially divided southern America.

With a score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, The Color Purple is adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award winner Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Grammy award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.

This show also picked up WhatsOnStage Award nominations for STAR Best Actress in a Musical (Cynthia Erivo) and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Sophia Nomvete).

Vote for The Color Purple here.

4. The Hush - Matthew Herbert - at the National, Shed

Composer, DJ and producer Matthew Herbert made his theatrical debut with The Hush in the temporary National Theatre space, The Shed.

Billed as 'an experiential journey into sound', The Hush asked audiences to listen in a way they never have before. Performers interacted with live foley and immersive sound design to recreate the past, imagine the future and give voice to The Shed itself.

To vote for The Hush in this years awards, click here.

5. The Scottsboro Boys - John Kander - at the Young Vic

The Scottsboro Boys received its UK premiere at the Young Vic in October 2013, directed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers).

The show, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2010, tells the true story of nine young black men, aged between 12 and 19, who were falsely accused of rape by two white women while travelling on a train through Scottsboro, Alabama in the 1930s. Their subsequent trials and appeals, lasting seven years, deeply divided the nation.

Other WhatsOnStage Award nominations include Best Supporting Actor in a Musical (Colman Domingo), Capezio Best Choreographer (Susan Stroman) and Dewynters Best London Newcomer (Kyle Scatliffe).

Vote for The Scottsboro Boys, here.

Who will get your vote? Head on over to the voting page now to have your say.

Here are the current standings when this article went to press (17/12/2013):